Help in deciding what specialty


Hello all,

I've been in nursing school for over a year now and have one year left (Bachelor's program). When I went into the program, I knew I've always had an interest in Obstetrics, so I thought I'd want to be a L&D nurse. Well, I'm now in my OB/PEDS rotation and I will tell you that L&D is the most boring rotation I've been in so far! The deliveries are absolutely wonderful and I love being there to assist a laboring women, but I just can't take the waiting game! I floated to the ER department and actually really loved that. I also discovered that I really like the Cardiovascular system....

A little history about me.... I am a research queen! I love research, writing, and just being there for people. I love the feeling I get when someone needs me for something, whether it's for advice or just to help them with something. I absolutely love the miracle of life! The whole idea of conception, birth, and life in general (don't need to elaborate too much here)! I am an extremely quick learner, with tons of skills.... including computers and etc. My ultimate goal is to continue my education to become a Nurse Practitioner. I've even thought about continuing my education in Clinical Nurse Specialist, but I would like to be part of patient care also.

So, last night, I was doing a bit of research. I was looking into NP programs and saw that they have a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) program. I originally wanted to just go for my FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) and then specialize in whatever area I choose to do thereafter. Now that I found the WHNP program, I'm wondering if maybe I should head that direction. But.... My question is, will I be narrowing my education too much? What if I don't want to do Women's Health later?

How did you all decide what specialty you would like to do once you graduate nursing school? How did you decide which type of Nurse Practitioner you wanted to aim towards?

Thanks for any input you can give me!


887 Posts

Well you said you liked L&D but it was just slow. I wouldn't completely shut the door on L&D just yet, perhaps you will get a job in a hospital that will have more births and things will be slightly more busy? Also did you spend any time on other parts of OB? Like the antepartum, postpartum and NICU?

You say you love life and you love assisting a woman with birth so perhaps you might like to aim for a Certified Nurse Midwife? You'd have your own patients and follow them throughout their pregnancy. If you don't want to limit yourself that much then you can also look at other ideas. Do you like children? If you don't like the child population at all then you definetely would want to aim for some kind of Adult NP. If you're not sure if you wanna rule out kids all together then FNP would be the best way to go.

The great thing about NP schools is that a lot of them have what you call post-master's certificate's. They're for if you decide later that you'd like to try some other kind of nursing. They usually take less than what a regular Master's NP and you can be dual-certified. Family Nurse Practitioner is pretty much the best thing because you can work in pretty much all fields with the exception of neonatal and anestesia.

MystyqueOne, BSN, RN

1 Article; 290 Posts

Specializes in Primary Care. Has 6 years experience.

Thank you very much. I am going into Postpartum this week, so maybe I'll have a better experience and it won't be so slow. So, you would recommend the FNP route instead of the WHNP (Women's Health Nurse Practitioner)? I suppose that would be better, because then I could later get certified in Women's Health. Thank you very much for your advice. I am still being open minded about other areas that I am interested in, such as cardiac and ER.

My other concern is that once I graduate, I need to figure out what area I can get hired in as I continue my education. I also only plan on working part time while I'm attending my Master's program. So, who would hire a part time new nurse graduate that is flexible with their school schedule? That may be a little tough to beat.... Any suggestions?

Thank you!